"And to the angel of the Church at
Philadelphia write: Thus says the Holy One, the True One, he who has the "Key
of David". he who opens and no one shuts, and who shuts and no one opens: I
know thy works. Behold, I have caused a door to be opened before thee which no
one can shut, for thou hast scanty strength, and thou hast kept My Word and hast
not disowned My Name." Rev 3:7-8
The "Key of David", what is the significance?
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Helcias, and I will clothe him with thy Robe, and I will strengthen him with thy Sash, and will give thy Power (authority) into his hand; and he shall be as a FATHER (the word 'Pope' means 'Father') to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And I will lay the Key of the House of David (the symbol of primacy) upon his shoulder; and he shall open and none shall shut; and he shall shut and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a peg in a Sure Place(the Papal Office), and he shall be for a Throne of glory to the house of his Father. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his Fathers house, diverse kinds of vessels, every little vessel, from the vessels of cups even to every instrument of music." Isaiah 22:20-24
"My servant" means "Faithful to GOD". "Eliakim" means "GOD will establish". Here we have a figure who is faithful to GOD and someone whom GOD will exalt. In several verses in Scripture, whenever this "Eliakim" is mentioned, he is also shown to be "Over the Household", 2Kings 18:18, 2Kings 18:37, 2Kings 19:2, Isaiah 36:3, Isaiah 36:22, Isaiah 37:2.
In Isaiah 36:3, he is described as being "Over the House". The Pope is certainly "Faithful to GOD", and he is "Over the House of GOD", the visible Church on earth.
So what do we have here? We have an OFFICE, a SASH, a ROBE, a THRONE, a KEY, a PEG, and a SURE PLACE.
The House of David is the Davidic Kingdom. David is a figure of Christ.
The OFFICE is the Papacy, the Holy Father, the Pope, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the House of Judah, (the Church), the Vicar of Christ, the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Saint Peter, the visible head of the Catholic Church on earth.
The SASH, The ROBE, the THRONE, and the KEYS are symbols of his authority.
The SASH is what separates the prime priest from the other priests,
"Therefore, to the various expert workmen whom I have endowed with skill, you shall give instructions to make such vestments for Aaron as will set him apart for his sacred service as My priest. These are the vestments they shall make; a breastpiece , an ephod, a Robe, a brocaded tunic, a miter, and a SASH." Ex 28:3-4.
"He(Aaron) shall wear the sacred linen "Tunic", with the linen drawers next to his flesh, gird himself with the linen Sash and put on a linen Miter (the Pope wears a Miter)." Lev 16:3
The ROBE symbolizes his authority as The Bishop of Rome, the Supreme Pontiff, the High Priest of the Visible Church on earth.
"As an olive tree budding forth, and a cypress tree rearing itself on high, when he put on the ROBE of Glory, and was clothed with the perfection of POWER. When he went up to the Holy Altar, he honored the vesture of Holiness. And when he took the portions out of the hands of the priests, he himself stood by the Altar. And about him was the ring of his brethren: and as the cedar planted in mount Libanus, and as branches of palm trees, they stood round about him, and all the sons of Aaron in their glory. And the Oblation of the Lord (the Holy Eucharist) was in their hands before all the Congregation (Church) of Israel. And finishing his service on the Altar, to honor the offering of the Most High King, he stretched forth his hand to make a libation, and offered the Blood of the grape (wine transformed into the Blood of Christ)." Sir 50:11-16
"Now therefore we make thee this day High Priest (Vicar of Christ) of thy nation, and that thou be called the King's friend (and he sent them a Purple ROBE, and a CROWN OF GOLD (Miter)), and that thou be of one mind with us in our affairs, and keep friendship with us." 1Macc 10:20
The THRONE is the Chair (Seat) of Saint Peter from which the Vicar of Christ proclaims to the whole world, infallible statements on faith and morals.
Moses, the Leader of GOD's chosen people had a Seat of Authority.
"The Scribes and the Pharisees have sat on the Chair of Moses." Matt 23:2
"This Propitiatory (Mercy Seat) you shall then place on top of the Ark. In the Ark itself you are to put the Commandments which I will give you. There I will meet you and there, from above the Propitiatory, between the two cherubim on the Ark of the Commandments, I will tell you all of the commands that I wish you to give the Israelites (Ex-Cathedra)." Ex 25:20-22
"He took the Commandments and put them in the Ark; he placed poles alongside the Ark and set
the Propitiatory upon it." Ex 40:20
"...the Lord spoke to Moses and said to him, "Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he pleases into the sanctuary, inside the veil, in front of the Propitiatory on the Ark; otherwise, when I reveal myself in a cloud above the Propitiatory, he will die (GOD will speak to His chosen Visible Leader on earth only, His Vicar)." Lev 16:2
"When Moses entered the Meeting Tent to speak with Him, he heard the voice addressing him from above the Propitiatory on the Ark of the Commandments, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him...(Ex-Cathedra)" Num 7:89
The Mercy Seat thus becomes the protector of the Ark and its contents. In the Ark were the Stone Tablets handed to Moses, Aaron's staff, and the Manna from Heaven. These are prefigurements of the New Ark of the Covenant, the Blessed Virgin Mary, as she carried within her womb, the Word of GOD, the Power of GOD, and the Body of Christ, the Manna from Heaven.
The KEYS are symbolic of His Authority,
and over the Binding and Loosening powers of sin, and as a symbol of
The PEG is symbolic in Hebrew tradition, as the main tent peg into which all other lines ran.
The SURE PLACE, of course, is The Vatican in Rome, the Papal Office.
"With him is wisdom and strength. He hath counsel (the Magisterium in conjunction with the Holy Spirit) and understanding (discernment). If he pull down, there is no man that can build up. If he shuts up a man, there is none that can open (Papal authority, Rome has spoken, the matter is settled)." Job 12:13-14
"And I say to thee, thou art Peter, and upon this 'Rock' I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give THEE the KEYS of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven." Matt 16:18-19
Jesus Christ addressed Peter and Peter only in these two verses. He gave Peter alone, the KEYS to the Kingdom of Heaven, and the power of "Binding and Loosening" of sins, or if you prefer, the "Sacrament of Reconciliation". Clearly, when Jesus addressed Peter only, and at the same time gave him a name change from Simon to Peter, he had appointed Peter as the "prime" Apostle. Later in Matt 18:18, Jesus gave the power of "Binding and Loosening" to all of the Apostles. After Jesus had risen from the dead, He appeared to all of the Apostles and again gave them the power of "Binding and Loosening" in John 20:22-23.
To further strengthen the "Primacy of Peter" Jesus addressed him only, in John 21:15-17, when He commanded him to "Feed My Sheep". As another example, Jesus commanded Simon-Peter to strengthen his brethren in Luke 22:31-32.
Peter acknowledged his primacy, when at the Council of Jerusalem, he stood up and said, "Brethren, you know that in early days GOD made choice among us, that through MY mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the Gospel and believe." Acts 15:7
Peter's statement was singular in that the truth of the Gospel would come from the primacy of the Catholic Church, and that primacy is the Papacy.
"But if thy brother sin against thee, go and show him his fault, between thee and him alone. If he listen to thee, thou hast won thy brother. But if he do not listen to thee, take with thee one or two more so that on the word of two or three witnesses every word may be confirmed. And if he refuse to hear them, appeal to the CHURCH, but if he refuse to hear even the CHURCH, let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican. Amen I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound also in Heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed also in Heaven." Matt 18:15-18
Here, right out of Holy Scripture is an outline for a system of appeal. How do you appeal to the Church unless there is a system of arbitrators pre-existing in that Church? To whom does one appeal in civil life? We appeal to a higher court of our government. What do you suppose would have happened if our founding fathers had not set up a system of checks and balances; a system with lots of laws, but no 'hierarchy' to interpret those laws for us? What would happen if our founding fathers wrote our constitution and made no provision for a Supreme Court to have the final say on interpretation of the laws within it? What would have happened if they left it up to the people and said, "Interpret the law of the land as you see fit?" Immediately, there would be conflicts and chaos and splits in the unity of the country. Isn't this exactly what our Protestant brothers and sisters did to the 'Law of GOD', the Bible? The reformers rejected the authority of the Catholic Church and immediately there began conflicts and chaos, infighting within their ranks, and splits in the Body of Christ which number over 28,000 in Protestantism today.
Where is the 'supreme court' of Protestantism? Who or what is the authority in their ranks which arbitrate disputes in Bible interpretation? The prefigurement of final authority of such matters was recorded in detail in the Old Testament, and it fits perfectly with Papal authority and the Magisterium of today in the Catholic Church.
"The next day Moses sat in judgment for the people, who waited about him from morning until evening. When his father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people he inquired, "What sort of thing is this that you are doing for the people? Why do you sit alone while all the people have to stand about you from morning till evening?"
Moses answered his father-in-law, "THE PEOPLE COME TO ME TO CONSULT GOD. Whenever they have a disagreement, THEY COME TO ME TO HAVE ME SETTLE THE MATTER (MOSES HAD SPOKEN, THE ISSUE WAS SETTLED) BETWEEN THEM AND MAKE KNOWN TO THEM GOD'S DECISIONS AND REGULATIONS."
"You are not acting wisely," his father-in-law replied. "You will surely wear yourself out, and not only yourself but also these people with you. The task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Now, listen to me, and I will give you some advice, that GOD may be with you. ACT AS THE PEOPLE'S REPRESENTATIVE BEFORE GOD, BRINGING TO HIM WHATEVER THEY HAVE TO SAY. ENLIGHTEN THEM IN REGARD TO THE DECISIONS AND REGULATIONS, SHOWING THEM HOW THEY ARE TO LIVE AND WHAT THEY ARE TO DO. BUT YOU SHOULD ALSO LOOK AMONG ALL THE PEOPLE FOR ABLE AND GOD-FEARING MEN, TRUSTWORTHY MEN WHO HATE DISHONEST GAIN, AND SET THEM AS OFFICERS (CARDINALS AND BISHOPS, THE MAGISTERIUM) OVER GROUPS OF THOUSANDS, OF HUNDREDS, OF FIFTIES, AND OF TENS. LET THESE MEN RENDER DECISIONS FOR THE PEOPLE IN ALL ORDINARY CASES. MORE IMPORTANT CASES THEY SHOULD REFER TO YOU (PAPAL AUTHORITY. ROME HAS SPOKEN, THE ISSUE IS SETTLED), BUT THE LESSER CASES THEY CAN SETTLE THEMSELVES. THUS YOUR BURDEN WILL BE LIGHTENED, SINCE THEY WILL BEAR IT WITH YOU. IF YOU DO THIS, WHEN GOD GIVES YOU ORDERS YOU WILL BE ABLE TO STAND THE STRAIN, AND ALL THESE PEOPLE WILL GO HOME SATISFIED."
Moses followed the advice of his father-in-law and did all that he had suggested. HE PICKED OUT ABLE MEN FROM ALL ISRAEL AND PUT THEM IN CHARGE OF THE PEOPLE AS OFFICERS OVER GROUPS OF THOUSANDS , OF HUNDREDS , OF FIFTIES, AND OF TENS (CARDINALS, ARCHBISHOPS, AND BISHOPS, AS WE HAVE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TODAY). THEY RENDERED DECISIONS FOR THE PEOPLE IN ALL ORDINARY CASES. THE MORE DIFFICULT CASES THEY REFERRED TO MOSES, BUT ALL THE LESSER CASES THEY SETTLED THEMSELVES."
Rome has truly spoken.
If Exodus 18:13-26 isn't enough proof, here is another reference which reinforces it.
"I cannot carry all this people by myself for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you will deal with me, then please do me the favor of killing me at once, so that I need no longer face this distress."
Then the Lord said to Moses, "Assemble for Me seventy of the elders of Israel, men you know for true elders and authorities among the people, and bring them to the Meeting Tent. When they are in place beside you, I will come down AND SPEAK WITH YOU THERE. I WILL ALSO TAKE SOME OF THE SPIRIT THAT IS ON YOU AND WILL BESTOW IT ON THEM, THAT THEY MAY SHARE THE BURDEN OF THE PEOPLE WITH YOU. YOU WILL THEN NOT HAVE TO BEAR IT BY YOURSELF."
Exodus 18 and Numbers 11 depict a "type" of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church of today. We see a system of arbitration and a final authority to settle inevitable disputes which arise from time to time. We see a 'type' of the Magisterium in the seventy elders. Rome has truly spoken. The blueprint was drawn in the Old Testament.
"Now you are the Body of Christ, member for member. And GOD indeed has placed some in the Church, first Apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly TEACHERS (The Pope is the foremost teacher); after that miracles, then gifts of healing, services of help, POWER OF ADMINISTRATION, and the speaking of various tongues." 1Cor 12:27-28
ADMINISTRATION: Management, especially of business affairs. The activity of a sovereign state in the exercise of its powers or duties. This is how one dictionary defines the word.
This is a good description of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, which certainly does include the Pope and the Magisterium, and over 3500 Bishops.
Every government, every corporation, and every institution, has a POWER OF ADMINISTRATION.
The Federal Government has an Executive Branch, a Legislative Branch, and a Judicial Branch.
Corporations have a Chief Executive Officer, a Board of Directors, and Stockholders.
Why then, should the largest and oldest western institution on earth, the Catholic Church, not have a Pope, a Magisterium, and thousands of Bishops, all guided in truth by the Holy Spirit?
"If in your community there is a case at issue which proves too complicated for you to decide, in a matter of bloodshed or of civil rights or of personal injury, you shall then go up to the place which the Lord your GOD chooses, to the Levitical priests (Magisterium) or to the JUDGE (Pope) who is IN OFFICE (the Papacy) at that time. They shall study the case and then hand down to you their decision. According to this decision that they give you in the place which the Lord chooses, you shall act, BEING CAREFUL TO DO EXACTLY AS THEY DIRECT. YOU SHALL CARRY OUT THE DECISIONS WHICH THEY GIVE YOU AND THE VERDICT THEY PRONOUNCE FOR YOU, WITHOUT TURNING ASIDE TO THE RIGHT OR TO THE LEFT FROM THE DECISION THEY HAND DOWN TO YOU. ANY MAN WHO HAS THE INSOLENCE TO REFUSE TO LISTEN TO THE PRIEST WHO OFFICIATES THERE IN THE MINISTRY OF THE LORD, YOUR GOD, OR TO THE JUDGE, SHALL DIE (now, Spiritual death). THUS SHALL YOU PURGE THE EVIL FROM YOUR MIDST." Deut 17:8-12
"In this breastpiece of decision you shall put the Urim and Thummim, that they may be over Aaron's heart whenever he enters the presence of the Lord. Thus HE SHALL ALWAYS BEAR THE DECISIONS FOR THE ISRAELITES OVER HIS HEART IN THE LORD'S PRESENCE."
Now, just what do these verses prefigure? This is exactly how the Pope and the Magisterium work in conjunction with the Holy Spirit today.
Now that we have a Church Hierarchy guided by the Holy Spirit, one of their primary duties is to hold periodic Church Councils. These Councils are called in order to define revealed truths in Scripture and to address rising heresy, and other problems of the time. The Councils are attended by the Pope and the Bishops.... And they are Biblical.
"Where there is no Governor, the people shall fall; but there is safety where there is much Council." Prov 11:14
"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; but he that is Wise harkens unto Councils." Prov 12:15
"Designs are brought to nothing where there is no Council; but where there are many Counselors, they are established." Prov 15:22
"Hear Council, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end." Prov 19:20
"Designs are strengthened by Councils, and wars are to be managed by governments." Prov 20:18
"Because war is managed by due ordering; and there shall be safety where there are many Councils." Prov 24:6
"Take Council, gather a Council..." Isa 16:3
"And that they had made themselves a senate house, and consulted daily three hundred and twenty men that sat in Councils always for the people, THAT THEY MIGHT DO THE THINGS THAT WERE RIGHT. And that they committed their government to One Man every year, to rule over their country, and they all obey one, and there is no envy nor jealousy among them." 1Macc 8:15-16